Forking great social media.

forkingThe other day we kicked off a new project with a client and had a great working session. One of the components of this project is creating a social media strategy around a personal brand. There was some discussion around differentiating personal brands from professional profiles on social media. When is it good to mix the two? Should you post life experiences that aren’t necessarily germane to your profession? When should you post a picture of your lunch? (spoiler alert: never)

That reminded me of a conversation I had with a friend a couple of weeks ago. We were out on the town and he showed me a post on his phone. I recognized it as something I’d seen on his Facebook feed the day before. It was a picture of neatly arranged forks in a dishwasher. “This is how our forks go in the dishwasher.” It was a tongue-in-cheek comment about his OCD. I remember it only because my forks get tossed in by the handful with very little regard for their (or my) happiness.

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Here’s why he showed me the picture: it went viral. Let me repeat that. His picture of neatly arranged forks in a dishwasher has gone viral. Someone took his picture from Facebook and posted it on imgur and as of this writing, it’s had 1,281,584 views and 264 comments. It landed on the homepage of imgur as one of the viral images of the day.


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So here’s this guy just going about his day and then BOOM, suddenly he’s forking famous. (I’m almost done with these puns, promise). Literally tens of thousands of people have seen his dishwasher photo. Quite a social media success, right?

So where does that leave us with our need to craft a social strategy for a personal brand? Would creating a picture of the forks in your dishwasher in order to go viral be part of that plan? Probably not. Unless you manufacture dishwashers or forks. Or frivolous social media platforms.

“Going viral” is a horrible success metric anyway. Why? For one, its business impact is not measurable. It’s also typically not sustainable over the long-term and on the surface, the visibility may be appealing, but will that noise distract from your long-term strategy? Our goal is always to create engagement for our clients with clearly defined success metrics. Getting a single post to have a million+ views can be quite a feat (or not at all…see the forking example above), but it rarely moves the needle in a long-term impactful way without a clearly defined strategy.

We believe a social media presence has to start with a purpose. We start with clearly defined goals and metrics and chart a course from there. We do deep and thoughtful research into your brand, your space, and trends in the spaces most relevant to you and your brand. We lay the groundwork for both short-term campaign success and provide a path to what a long-term vision could be.

Are you at a fork in the road with your own personal brand? Let’s talk. Maybe we can neatly arrange a plan for you.